Fresh chance for Blues after last-day survival

Don Woodward watches the Torquay game from the away end with Wanderers fans

Don Woodward watches the Torquay game from the away end with Wanderers fans

First published in Sport Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

WANDERERS chairman Don Woodward said the club has a fresh chance to start again after being given a dramatic stay of execution - but they might make it without manager Gareth Ainsworth.

Blues pulled off the great escape from a seemingly hopeless position on Saturday, staying up on goal difference as they beat Torquay United 3-0 and Bristol Rovers surprisingly lost at home to Mansfield Town.

Remaining in the Football League means a summer takeover of the club is now more likely to go ahead, providing it's given the backing of the fans.

But Woodward said there's no guarantee any new face won't want to appoint their own successor to Ainsworth, the man who guided them to safety.

The Blues chairman said: "It may not be our choice. It may not be the current board's choice but he's there and he's not going anywhere at the moment.

"It wouldn't be our call. I don't want to speak for anybody else because that's up to them. We are not making it conditional [that Ainsworth stays] - they make their decision.

"Gareth has got a few reflections as well. He's there and he's learnt a lot this season. We'll get together at the end of the week."

Woodward said he was keen to crack on and conclude a deal sooner rather than later so the manager can start work on assembling his squad for next season.

Only five of the 28 players currently on the books at Adams Park are definitely contracted for next season and Woodward said: "It's a fresh chance. Lots of people are out of contract. It's very exciting because of what we've done to clear out the mess we inherited.

"Things have to become clear because of the whole players' contracts scenario. Lots of clubs have released players this week and we can't dilly dally."

Takeover talks have been ongoing for several months now and Woodward said: "There's a number of bids at the moment and there's lots of different things that may not be in my control in terms of budgets and players.

"It's a bit too early to say but anybody coming in would probably be able to put more behind the club than the Trust could afford.

"Some have said they would only be interested if we stay up and some if we went down, but those are more the sharks who would be more interested in the pickings from a non league club than supporting a growing club."

BBC TV pundit Mark Bright told this week's Late Kick Off programme he understood a former England player was involved with one of the parties interested in taking over the club.

Woodward said: "Certainly in some of the bids there are international players involved. Whether they succeed or not is still part of the discussions.

"He [Bright] might have been slightly off on his observation but if one of them succeeds they will be well known."

Comments (1)

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12:01pm Fri 9 May 14

Peter Cyprus says...

Are they in a mess because of the previous takeover by Hayes or because of the current regime? If it is the former, why are they going down this road again; once bitten, twice shy.
Are they in a mess because of the previous takeover by Hayes or because of the current regime? If it is the former, why are they going down this road again; once bitten, twice shy. Peter Cyprus
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